Microsoft announces Lumia Denim firmware update, includes new hands-free Cortana and more

Zac Bowden

Lumia Denim

Microsoft has today announced its new firmware update for Lumia devices called Lumia Denim, and will include a new hands-free Cortana which can be activated by simply saying “Hey Cortana” whilst the phone is inactive. 

Lumia Denim also introduces improvements to the Lumia Camera app. The app will launch “wicked fast” from startup and when taking photos and video. It can also be initiated by a tap and hold on the camera shutter. The company says that the whole process will take place within 1.5 seconds. Furthermore, Lumia Denim brings the 4K video recording capability at 24 frame-per-second. But as you would expect, this feature is limited to high-end smartphones, including Lumia 930, 1520 and Icon.

With the update, users will be able to say the hotword “Hey, Cortana” to open the voice assistant service. This is a feature very similar to “okay, Google” that Google introduced recently to select handsets. 

Another interesting feature called Rich Capture mode will finally give you the abilty to turn the flash on and off, as well as adjust its strength after you’ve taken the snaps.  

The update will first arrive on Lumia 930, Lumia 1520, and Lumia Icon by the end of Q4 this year. The company has promised that all the Lumia smartphones will get the update as well. The Lumia 830, which the company announced a few minutes ago is already running the Denim update.